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Describing Learners

For TTC trainees
by

Jennie Lazos

on 13 October 2012

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Transcript of Describing Learners

Describing
Learners Do you think age plays a major role in making decisions on how and what to teach? WHY People of different ages have different needs, competences and cognitive skills. Young children Respond to meaning (even if they don’t understand words)
Their understanding comes from what they see and hear.
Abstract concepts are difficult to grasp
Need individual attention and T’s approval
Are keen on talking about themselves
Have short attention span (get easily bored) Adolescents
Are they often seen as problem Ss? They have greater ability for abstract thought.
They are passionate commited when they are engaged.
Most of them understand the need for learning, with the right goals and can be responsible enough to do what is asked.
They are searching for identity.
They need self-esteem.
They need to feel good about themselves and valued.
They have an acute need for peer aproval
They are extremely vulnerable to the negative judgements of their own age group. Adult learners They are often prepared to struggle despite boredom.
Many adults are able to sustain a level of motivation.
They are critical of teaching methods.
They may have experienced failure or criticism which makes them anxious.
They can engage with abstract thought
They have a whole range of life experiences to draw on.
They have expectations about the learning process.
They do have their own set patterns of learning.
They tend to be more disciplined. What to do? Good Teachers Take all of these factors into account.
Are aware which activities will engage Ss.
Involve Ss in more indirect learning through skills.
Encourage Ss to use their own life experience in the learning process. Ss are individuals, which means
all learners have different identities. A class demands to be aware of these differences Teachers must consider differences Differences between learners influence their attitude to learning a language and how they learn it.

These differences influence how they respond to different teaching styles and approaches and how successful they are learning a language. Age Learner Characteristics Think of the ways you like to learn.
Think of how you have learnt in the past
Think of how your age might influence how you prefer to learn a language DISCUSS in pairs Learner Styles Ways in which a learner naturally takes in, processes and remembers information and skills Visual
Auditory
Kinaesthetic
Group
Individual
Reflective
Impulsive Strategies to HELP Ss: by identifying what they need to learn.
by knowing how they process language.
by understanding that part of the process is working with other people. Repeating words in your head
Guessing meaning of unknown words
Thinking about how to remember all the new words you meet in each lesson EXAMPLES: Language level Students are generally described in three levels: Beginner
Intermediate
Advanced Advanced Upper intermediate Mid-intermediate Lower intermediate / pre-intermediate Elementary Real beginner False beginner Language levels CEF Current dilemas we face! ALTE has produced ‘can do’ statements to try to show Ss, as well as teachers, what these levels mean.

ALTE Standards are just one way of measuring proficiency. In recent years, the Council of Europe and the Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE) have been working to define language competency levels for learners of a number of different languages. Previous learning experience Learners’ motivation Personality Learning strategies Learning style Language level First of all, we need to think about creating favourable conditions for learning These conditions involve: 1. an adequate room with sufficient space
2. good lighting and acoustics 4. a favourable atmosphere where Ss feel motivated 3. plenty of opportunities for Ss to participate and practice 5. difference in age and level of proficiency It is very important to keep in mind that:
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